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Equipment

"They went down the slope, and across the stream where it dived under the road, and up the next slope, and up and down another shoulder of the hills; and by that time their cloaks, blankets, water, food and other gear already seemed a heavy burden.”
— Fellowship of the Ring
This section details a selection of equipment that Playerheroes will find in Middle-earth, and in Wilderland in particular. Loremasters should feel free to include any other equipment they feel is appropriate for their own games, but this section holds fast to things mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. By fitting out your Player-heroes with things described here, your adventurers will feel more like a part of Middle-earth.

 

Silver & Gold

In the North, for many years barter was the rule. Small settlements traded their labour and the goods they produced for whatever they needed from their neighbours, with what small coins they had going to the occasional travelling pedlar for what they could not make themselves.

The only coins in circulation in Wilderland came then almost entirely from the Kingdom under the Mountain before the coming of Smaug.

With the re-emergence of Dale and Erebor, along with the rebuilt Lake-town, commerce has returned in earnest and new currency has begun to circulate once more, especially along the most used trade routes. The coins most often exchanged generally fall into three (broad) categories: gold pieces, silver pennies and copper coins.

Gold pieces are very valuable and relatively rare. The majority found in the North come from the Lonely Mountain. Indeed, older coins near invariably come from the Dragon’s treasure and many people have shown some propensity to hoard them and secret them away. King Dáin ordered portions of Smaug’s hoard smelted and minted anew, meaning there are new gold pieces about bearing the Ironfoot’s grim visage, but so vast was the wealth of Erebor that it simply wasn’t practical to try to render the entire hoard down.

Silver pennies are the most common currency of the North, in use from the streets of Dale to the inns of the Shire. Silver coins from Erebor and Dale of old were used throughout the Anduin Vales and in Esgaroth throughout the Dragon’s ‘reign’, and new silver pennies flow from the Lonely Mountain regularly now. Indeed, most other folk say (quietly, out of the earshot of Dwarves) that Durin’s folk are far more willing to part with silver, than gold.

Copper coins have the least worth. Many aren’t even properly struck coins, just bits of vaguely circular copper. A decent meal and a mug of ale can be had for a few coppers.

Exchange:
  • 1 gold piece = 20 silver pennies
  • 1 silver penny = 12 copper coins
  • 1 gold piece = 240 copper coins
In the following equipment sections, the various coins are abbreviated so:

gold piece = (gp), silver penny = (sp), copper coin = (cp). While coins are how most monetary transactions take place, gem stones of various size and type are frequently used if particularly large sums are involved. The jewellery smiths of the North have long produced beautiful work and with the new wealth arising in parts of Wilderland, they are hard at work once more.

Barter, Trade & Gift

Still, for most people – especially those in Poor, Frugal or Martial cultures – coins are rarely used, and barter is the order of the day. The majority of folk tend to their own farmsteads or share in the wealth of their village under the protection of a lord or chieftain, and trade only for those few things they cannot produce themselves.

Many Martial cultures operate under a gift economy, where the lord or chieftain owns all goods, and apportions gifts of goods and property to his loyal folk in line with their rank. The only merchants seen in many places are Dwarven traders and smiths, exiled wanderers who are now making their way back to Erebor. Coin is not always easily spent where such traders cannot be found.

Player-heroes may obtain equipment through purchase, barter or as gifts, and they will also sometimes acquire new items as Cultural Heirlooms. In Middle-earth sometimes gaining equipment is easy – under the protection and hospitality of a generous lord all your needs will be met. Out in the wild, amongst the far flung farmsteads things are no so easy, and Playerheroes may find themselves chopping wood to pay for an evening’s meal when coin will not do.

Standards of Living

The Player-heroes in Adventures in Middle-earth are adventurers, individuals frequently used to finding their own sustenance in the Wild, rather than reaching for a purse. Yet each hero has a people from which they came and a lifestyle they generally lead when not out upon the road. Therefore, each character has a Standard of Living based on the relative affluence of their culture.

A character’s Standard of Living represents the quality of their incidental gear as well as how they present themselves. Loremasters will take note of a character’s Standard of Living under appropriate social circumstances. For example, a Poor warrior is far less likely to be granted access to a Rich merchant’s estate without a very persuasive story.

The Standard of Living rankings are Poor, Frugal, Martial, Prosperous or Rich.

Standards of Living costs for 1 year

Poor 1g
Frugal 3g
Martial 6g
Prosperous 12g
Rich 24g
These are the minimum costs, and include household costs for more affluent individuals.

Weapons and Armour

These are the descriptions for various types of protective gear or weapons available to Player-heroes in Middle Earth. Most forms of medium or light armour and all simple weapons can be obtained in any settlement of the Free Folk; heavier metal armours or martial weapons are made in only a few places – a traveler is unlikely to find a fine broadsword or a corslet of mail in the lands of the Woodmen, for example.

Armour Cost Armour Class (AC) Strength Stealth Weight
Leather Jerkin (LA) 10sp 11 + DEX - - 10 lb
Leather Corslet (LA) 45 sp 12 + DEX - - 13 lb
Hide (MA) 10 sp 12 + DEX (max 2) - - 12 lb
Corslet of Mail (MA) 50 sp 13 + DEX (max 2) - - 20 lb
Scale hauberk (MA) 60 sp 14 + DEX (max 2) - disadvantage 45 lb
Ring-mail (HA) 40 sp 14 - disadvantage 40 lb
Heavy mail (HA) 75 sp 16 13 disadvantage 55 lb
Shield 10 sp + 2 - - 6 lb
Great Shield 30 sp + 4 13 disadvantage 35 lb

Great Shield

Huge and round or barrel-shaped, these shields are carried in battle by the sturdiest of warriors, and are considered too cumbersome and unwieldy by many. Great shields can only be used by Size Medium or larger warriors.

Other Weapons & Armour

Only weapons and armour specifically mentioned in Tolkien’s works are included in these tables. Loremasters wishing to include other weapons may do so, but should take care to preserve the spirit of Middle-earth, which is evoked in the small details. Middle-earth draws on influences from Beowulf, The Kalevala and the Norse sagas, and the arms and armour described come from these sources. Unusual items could be seen as exotic and unusual in Wilderland. Consider putting them in the hands of travelers from distant cultures – for example, it would not be unreasonable to decide that the Easterlings might wield halberds or carry crossbows.

Weapon Cost Damage Weight Properties
Club 24 cp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb. Light
Dagger 2 sp 1d4 piercing 1 lb. Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Great Club 48 cp 1d8 bludgeoning 10 lb. Two-handed
Hand Axe 5 sp 1d6 slashing 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Hammer 2 sp 1d4 bludgeoning 2 lb. Light, thrown (range 20/60)
Mace 4 sp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb. -
Staff 5 sp 1d6 bludgeoning 4 lb. Versatile (1d8)
Spear 3 sp 1d6 piercing 3 lb. Thrown (20/60), versatile (1d8)
Short-bow 25 sp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Ammunition (range 80/320), two-handed, Simple Ranged Weapon
Sling 24 cp 1d4 bludgeoning - Ammunition (range 30/120), Simple Ranged Weapon
Axe 10 sp 1d8 slashing 4 lb. Versatile (1d10), Martial Melee Weapons
Great Axe 30 sp 1d12 slashing 7 lb. Heavy, two-handed, Martial Melee Weapons
Great Spear 20 sp 1d12 piercing 9 lb. Heavy, reach, two-handed, Martial Melee Weapons
Heavy Scimitar 50 sp 2d6 slashing 6 lb. Heavy, two-handed, Martial Melee Weapons
Longsword 40 sp 1d8 slashing 3 lb. Versatile (1d10), Martial Melee Weapons
Mattock 20 sp 2d6 piercing 10 lb. Heavy, two-handed, Martial Melee Weapons
Scimitar 25 sp 1d6 slashing 3 lb. Finesse, light, Martial Melee Weapons
Short Sword 10 sp 1d6 piercing 2 lb. Finesse, light, Martial Melee Weapons
Broadsword 30 sp 1d8 slashing 3 lb. Finesse, Martial Melee Weapons
Warhammer 15 sp 1d8 bludgeoning 2 lb. Versatile (1d10), Martial Melee Weapons
Great Bow 50 sp 1d8 piercing 3 lb. Ammunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed, Martial Ranged Weapons

Mattock

A heavy digging implement, sporting a curved head with a point on one side and a spade-like ‘blade’ on the other. King Dáin’s Iron Guard and a number of his folk from the Iron Hills choose to wield their mattocks in battle to fearsome effect.

Dwarf-Forged Weapons and Armour

While the Dwarves of Erebor may no longer be able to forge weapons and armour with the skill their forefathers possessed, what they do make are still the finest armaments and mail to be found for purchase in Middle-earth. A warrior that wishes to acquire a piece of Dwarf-forged wargear will need to go to Dale (or Lake-town, though the price will be further marked up!) and secure one.

A Dwarf-forged Weapon costs a base of 2 gold pieces + 3x the listed base cost of the desired weapon. A suit of Dwarfforged Mail costs 5 gold pieces + 2x the listed base cost.

For example, a long sword normally costs 40 silver pennies (2 gold pieces). Thus a Dwarf-forged long sword costs 8 gold pieces.

Dwarf-smiths generally craft only the following weapons to their standards: Axe, Great Axe, Long Sword, Short Sword, and Broadsword. A Player-hero who wishes to secure a different weapon – a dagger or a spear, perhaps – will have to convince a Dwarf-smith to accept such a commission.

Since agreeing to make such a weapon could, in Dwarven social circles, reflect back on the smith, the character will have to have enough reputation to make it worth the smith’s while, along with several additional gold pieces to persuade him.

Dwarf-smiths forge Corslets of mail, Scale Hauberks, Ring-mail, and Heavy Mail. No inducement will convince them to make lesser armours.

A Dwarf-forged Weapon adds a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made with it.

A suit of Dwarf-forged Armour causes all critical hits against its wearer to become normal hits.

Artisans Tools and Simple Items

Item Cost Item Cost Musical Instrument Cost
Brewer’s supplies 20 sp Leatherworker’s tools 5 sp Drum 6 sp
Calligrapher's supplies 10 sp Mason’s tools 10 sp Fiddle 25 sp
Carpenter’s tools 8 sp Painter’s supplies 10 sp Flute 2 sp
Cartographer’s tools 15 sp Pipe Smoking supplies 5 sp Lute 35 sp
Cobbler’s tools 5 sp Potter’s tools 10 sp Lyre 30 sp
Cook’s utensils 1 sp Smith’s tools 20 sp Horn 3 sp
Dice set 1 sp Thieves' tools 25 sp Viol 30 sp
Gaming set 1 sp Tinker’s tools 50 sp
Glassblower’s tools 30 sp Weaver’s tools 1 sp
Herbalism kit 5 sp Woodcarver’s tools 1 sp
Jeweller’s tools 25 sp


Item Cost Weight Item Cost Weight
Backpack 2 sp 5 lb. Lantern, hooded 5 sp 2 lb.
Barrel 2 sp 70 lb. Lock 10 sp 1 lb.
Basket 90 cp 2 lb. Magnifying glass 5 gp -
Bedroll 1 sp 7 lb. Manacles 2 sp 6 lb.
Bell 1 sp - Mirror, steel 5 sp 0.5 lb.
Blanket 120 cp 3 lb. Oil (flask) 20 cp 1 lb.
Block and tackle 1 sp 5 lb. Parchment (one sheet) 20 cp -
Book 25 sp 5 lb. Pick, Miner's 2 sp 10 lb.
Bottle, glass 2 sp 2 lb. Pocket handkerchief 1 sp -
Bucket 12 cp 2 lb. Pot, iron 2 sp 10 lb.
Candle 3 cp - Pouch 10 cp 1 lb.
Case, map or scroll 1 sp 1 lb. Quiver 1 sp 1 lb.
Chain (10 feet) 5 sp 10 lb. Rations (1 day) 120 cp 2 lb.
Chalk (1 piece) 2 cp - Robes 1 sp 4 lb.
Chest 5 sp 25 lb. Rope, hempen (50 feet) 1 sp 10 lb.
Clothes, common 120 cp 3 lb. Sack 3 cp 0.5 lb.
Clothes, costume 5 sp 4 lb. Saddle 1 gp 30 lb.
Clothes, fine 15 sp 6 lb. Scale, merchant's 5 sp 3 lb.
Clothes, spring and summer traveller's 2 sp 4 lb. Sealing wax 120 cp -
Clothes, fall & winter traveller's 5 sp 8 lb. Shovel 2 sp 5 lb.
Crowbar 2 sp 5 lb. Signal whistle 15 cp -
Dalish Fireworks 10 cp 1 g - Signat ring 5 sp -
Dwarvern Toys 1 sp 1 lb. Soap 8 cp -
Fishing tackle 1 sp 4 lb. Spikes, iron (10) 1 sp 5 lb.
Flask or tankard 5 cp 1 lb. Tent, two-person 2 sp 20 lb.
Grappling hook 2 sp 4 lb. Tinderbox 120cp 1 lb.
Hammer 1 sp 3 lb. Torch 3 cp 1 lb.
Hammer, sledge 2 sp 10 lb. Travel Pots and Pans 50 cp 1 lb.
Healer's kit 5 sp 3 lb. Vial 1 sp -
Hourglass 25 sp 1 lb. War Horn 10 sp 2 lb.
Ink (1 ounce bottle) 10 sp - Waterskin 40 cp 5 lb. (full)
Ink pen 6 cp - Whetstone 3 cp -
Jug 5 cp - Arrows (20) 1 sp 1 lb.
Ladder (10 feet) 1 cp 25 lb. Slng bullets (20) 10 cp 1.5 lb.
Lamp 120 cp 1 lb.
Lantern, bullseye 10 sp 2 lb.

Dalish Fireworks

Small explosives that, soon after being lit, make a burst of sound, light or both. The fireworks produced by the fireworkers of Dale range from small whizz-bangs to teeth rattling thunder-claps, and from small fire-flowers to full-sized burning shapes in the sky. Firework creation is a relatively young art and they are not very robust as yet.

Every time a firework is lit, roll a d20: on a 1 it’s a dud; fireworks that were ever exposed to inclement weather or doused in water fail to ignite on a 1-10. Fireworks soon lose their potency and will fail to ignite a few weeks after purchase.

Dwarven Toys

The delightful creations of Durin’s folk and their Barding apprentices come from the Toy-market of Dale. Made from intricately carved wood and metal, the greatest (and most expensive) are so cunningly wrought that they have properties that seem magical: soldiers that march in unison, metal bears with tiny roars and little instruments that play themselves have all been sold at the Toy-market.

Travelling Gear

A hero’s travelling gear includes all the typical belongings that they carry when travelling, in addition to their weapons and armour. Adventurers being a somewhat rare breed in Middle-earth, there is little notion of any specialised equipment – rather, most Player-heroes carry what anyone would when traversing the dangerous reaches of the Wild.

Travelling gear varies by the time of year a company sets out. Spring and summer gear consists of lighter clothes and cloaks, blankets, water and rations. Winter and autumn gear requires warm clothing, thick jackets, furlined cloaks and solid boots with heavier bedrolls along with water and rations.

All classes start with one seasonal set of travelling gear of their choice, they will have to purchase other sets as needed.

Both sets of travelling gear include rations for a week of travelling. If their journey is going to last more than a week, most Player-heroes will generally have to rely on their skill as hunters.

Spring and Summer Travelling Gear includes appropriate garb, backpack, blanket, mess kit, a flask of oil, a pouch, 50’ hempen rope, 5 torches, a waterskin and a whetstone. With rations, this gear weighs 49 lb. and if purchased, would cost around 9sp.

Autumn and Winter Travelling Gear includes appropriate garb, backpack, bedroll, hooded lantern, mess kit, a flask of oil, a pouch, 50’ hempen rope, a waterskin, and a whetstone. With rations, this gear weighs 54 lb. and if purchased, would cost around 18sp.

Herbs, Potions and Salves

There are numerous plants of great worth in the Wilds of Middle-earth if you know where to look for them. A few folk know how to make various beneficial remedies from such herbs, but only skilled healers know how to bring forth their greatest virtues. The most efficacious plants are, invariably, the most difficult and dangerous to find and thus very often in very short supply. The listed prices reflect this. Player-heroes may very well have to go on an adventure to be certain of securing such plants.

Athelas

Athelas is a long leafed plant, found only in small, sparse thickets where the Men of the West once made their dwellings, for they brought it to Middle-earth long ago. Athelas has many virtues, but few know them in the twilight years of the Third Age. In the south, they refer to it as ‘Kingsfoil’ regarding it as a weed known only for its sweet scent – like that of pleasant orchards, or fields of heather under a summer sun. Those with the proper knowledge of Athelas’ many properties can make far more use of it.

Applying a salve made from athelas allows a character to immediately regain 1d4+1 hit points.

Hagweed

Hagweed is a floating plant, found in ponds of still water in verdant carpets of minute green leaves. Deceptively harmless to look at, these plants thrive in stinking waters where bodies of animals and travellers alike have sunk to rot. Hagweed is indeed a serious threat to travellers as, at dusk or when the sky is overcast, a horse or pony might easily stumble in the deep pools they cover, thinking to find firmer terrain. Hagweed owes its name to the fact that many stories tell how Marsh Hags and Trolls like to lurk beneath the surface of ponds covered by hagweed, as corpse candles often appear over such pools of stagnant waters and attract the unwary. If collected, the leaves of the hagweed can be brewed into a drink that strengthens the spirit.

Drinking a hagweed potion gives a character advantage on all saving throws against Corruption for 1 week.

Kingcup

These are bright, yellow flowers that appear when the winter snows start melting away. They turn dark and dreary bogs into pleasant places, and thus may trick unwary travellers into entering the dangerous terrain they grow upon. It owes its name (“king’s buttons”) to an old legend concerning Girion, Lord of Dale. Stories tell how he led his armies into the marshes in the dying days of winter, to trick his enemies into thinking he deserted his folk. He returned in spring, his host reinforced by Elven warriors, wearing yellow flowers in his hair and upon his breast. Farmers use Kingcup as lucky charms to protect their homes, and say that wearing its flowers protects a traveller from harm.

Wearing a necklace or bracelet of freshly woven Kingcups makes a character lucky for a 1d4+1 days. Whenever a lucky character rolls a 1 on a d20 for an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you can re-roll the die and must use the new roll.

Reedmace

Beds of these plants are found especially in the vicinity of the Long Lake. Reedmace is a tall grass with long leaves that flowers in spring. At that time, its top part develops into a mace-like head. Reedmace often grows taller than a Man. Farmers harvest reedmace for food, and cook its leaves or grind the plant into flour. Wise women learned to boil its rootstock to make a salve capable of speeding up the healing of wounds.

Applying reedmace salve to wounds allows a character to immediately recover 2 Hit Dice.

Shadow-thorn

Shadow-thorn is a dark black lichen that grows in small clumps on trees within the depths of Mirkwood and Fangorn Forest. Despite its somewhat sinister appearance, shadow-thorn is a beneficial plant that helps draw off toxins. Once ground into a fine powder, shadow-thorn can be used to make a potion capable of neutralizing many poisons.

A character who drinks a shadow-thorn potion gains advantage on saving throws against poison for 1 hour.

Water-lily

A beautiful floating plant with oval leaves and white or yellow flowers, the water-lily is found wherever the Forest River and the River Running slow their courses in winding loops, but it is not encountered under the shade of Mirkwood at all. Its flowers open in all their beauty only by midday, to close again when evening approaches. Water-lilies are often collected as decoration, and placed in bowls filled with water or woven into garlands.

A drink prepared using flowers and petals of white water-lilies fortifies the body, while the rare red waterlily is said to reinforce the fighting spirit. A character who drinks a potion made from white waterlilies automatically gets the full Hit Die value of any Hit Dice spent to regain hit points during their next short rest.

A character who drinks a potion made from red waterlilies adds +2 damage to all melee weapon attacks made for the next hour.

Item Cost Weight
Athelas 30 sp -
Hagweed 40 sp -
Kingcup 30 sp -
Reedmace 20 sp -
Shadow-thorn 25 sp -
Water-lily (red) 3 gp -
Water-lily (white) 20 sp -
 

Tools

Pipe

A pipe is made of clay or wood and used for inhaling the smoke of burning leaves of pipe-weed. Proficiency with a pipe means you practice the art of smoking and likely have some skill at blowing smoke-rings. Smoking a pipe can aid in both introspection and friendly chatting with fellow practitioners of the art.


If you spend an hour smoking your pipe while considering a problem, you may make an ability check with your proficiency bonus against a Difficulty Class 15. On a success, you make the immediate follow-on check with advantage. On a failure, you wasted an hour, but had a good smoke.


For example, Trotter is trying to decipher some strange runes he has found carved into the side of a cave. The Loremaster declares that because the runes are particularly ancient and partially obscured, it will take a DC 25 Intelligence (Lore) check to interpret them. Trotter has the time, so pulls forth his pipe, smokes and ponders for a bit, considering the runes. His player then makes a roll, adding his proficiency bonus, against a DC of 15. He succeeds, so he gets to make the ensuing Intelligence (Lore) test against the DC 25 with advantage.


Pipeweed

Pipe-weed or Leaf, as some adherents refer to it, comes mainly from the Shire and the lands surrounding the village of Bree. There are various types with slightly varied properties. Old Toby and Southern Star are well regarded, but most aficionados agree that Longbottom Leaf is the finest pipe-weed to be had.


Food, drink and lodging Cost
Ale (Tankard) 6 cp
Feast (per person) 10 sp
Pouch of Pipe-weed (10 uses) 3 sp
Traveller’s Inn (per night) 75 cp
Traveller’s Inn, Fancy (per night) 2 sp


Meals (per day) Cost
Poor 2 cp
Frugal 5 cp
Martial 8 cp
Prosperous 12 cp
Rich 1 sp


Wine Cost
Glass of wine 9 cp
Glass of Dorwinion Wine 2 sp
Wine Skin 50 cp
Bottle of Dorwinion Wine 10 sp



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